World Spins Darkly, by Andrew Detheridge (Lincolnshire,
Eng.: Hub Editions, 2002). 63 pages, 6½ x 4½; paperback,
perfectbound. ISBN 1-903746-15-9. £5.00 from
the author at 8 High Haden Road, Haden Hill, Cradley
Heath, West Midlands B64 7PG, England.
Detheridge is an English poet who writes not only
haiku but also mainstream poetry. Detheridges
haiku have been published in several British journals
as well as a few outside the U.K. His collection
The World Spins Darkly, published as part
of the Hub Haiku Series, contains 122 haiku and
senryu encompassing the ebb and flow of daily life.
at the empty hospital bed,
flowers still in hand
the country road
turning off the headlights
to feel the darkness
are a significant number of good poems in The
World Spins Darkly. For instance, the senryu
on the left above captures a poignant moment by
implying the feelings of the subject rather than
directly stating them. This ensures that the poem
is not too sentimental or heavy-handed. The haiku
on the right is strong because it relates a visceral
experience in a direct way that draws the reader
into the experience.
despite a number of superior poems, many fall short
his witty riposte
to an old friend
that the split
typical flaw is revealed here. Detheridge gives
the reader a glimpse into a touching moment, but
he does not offer a fresh perspective or insight.
The emotional observations that he provides are
ones that most readers will have encountered before.
a few cases, Detheridges poems slip into cliché:
the dew of morning,
the vicar dances, unashamed
on the lawn
poem repeats a well-worn themesocial repression
in religionand does so in no novel way. Such
irony has been presented before in many works of
issue in Detheridges work is his tendency
to supply too much of an explanation:
after the wrapping paper
word forced guides the reader too directly
to a conclusion, and conse-quently the poem feels
overstated. There is something non-haiku-like about
the poem it explains more than is usual in
haiku. Detheridges experience writing other
genres of poetry may be the reason for this.
patterns above limit the impact of the majority
of poems in The World Spins Darkly. While there
are certainly enough good poems to reward a reader,
the collection is not consistently strong.